And now it's the Akron Rubber Bowl's time to end. As dilapidated as it now is, I feel reflective on its life. And not just for this city, but for any city where something that was once vital, is no longer so. And in the Rubber Bowls case, not by a little. We have learned yes, some places we build are living, breathing things. I call them The Big Four - Schools, Stadiums, Theaters, Amusement Parks - the list is short. Even sometimes when a golf course is left to die and grow over itself. Places made by humans strictly to give humans joy, or be communal that outlive their usefulness. Their demise gives me a sense of thinking about what happened there. But not in the here and now condition, but when the Rubber Bowl was shiny new, prime of life, and breathing well. (Rubber Bowl Pics from - Tony Mazur)
Rubber Bowl - Entrance now
It will be torn down soon mercifully for every reason that is right to do so. The times had at the Rubber Bowl were both good and bad for many for sure. It does have a very interesting history that a simple Google search can show you. The Rubber Bowl has been standing there roughly 80 years, and it has met the exact same fate that the old Chippewa Lake Amusement Park in Medina County did some 40 years ago after a 100 year run. Newer, shinier places showed up as times changed, and people just - walked away and left the older ones there to decay slowly. Chippewa Lake became overgrown and eerie to say the least, and now so has the Rubber Bowl.
Chippewa Lake - Spookily Overgrown
Bleachers - 2017
Being honest, these things seldom happen to the extent they have around here. Huge, expansive places made for humans, left to fend for itself. I will never say the Rubber Bowl should have been saved because that simply is not a clear thought. It had its run, but it's over, as now the clock has simply run out. But I still think that there is a certain melancholy that is triggered inside us when places like this meet their maker. Even though it's been a long time since Charlie Frye threw a touchdown there, or the Stones or Tom Petty played a note of music there, it's now officially over
In high school. I announced a band show from this press box. Place seemed huge!
All of the schools I attended as a kid are demolished or will soon be as I have learned. The neighborhood theaters are by and large gone, and the stadiums of my youth too. And even though some amusement parks get bigger, the smaller ones get - smaller. And golf courses? Some nice ones are now parking and retail. Times and people change, but one thing that doesn't, is that luckily they still build The Four Places that for these days - will have their shining moment of the now.
And the inevitable fate - of the later.